TV Review – Legion: Episode 1
- NQ's Jack Park reviews Marvel's latest TV series, Legion
- Based on the Marvel Comic series of the same name, Legion centres around a troubled young man, diagnosed as a Schizophrenic as a child, who may be more than human
Marvel is everywhere. Television. Film. Games. You can’t escape, more-so you won’t want to escape with their newest tv offering, Legion, airing on screens at the moment. I feel as though any other year than this one this show wouldn’t exist, it would be seen as too weird, you would be seen as the schizophrenic main character David (Dan Stevens) who does his very best to figure out what is happening in his head as his story is pulled straight from the comic books. Even though the show is produced by Marvel and spearheaded by 20th Century Fox (FOX/FX), it is definitely keeping its distance from the MCU and the rest of the Fox universe, including X-Men.
The first episode starts with a montage of lead character Davids life as a child to now, an adult living in a mental asylum where it’s hard to tell if it’s the 1960s or 2060. The first scenes are full as pain and madness as you realise David is not a normal human, he’s a mutant that has been repressed his whole life by drugs and ‘therapy’. The others around him know he’s not normal, they know he’s powerful but nobody knows just how much. Legion is far from a superhero show like you would see on Netflix or The CW, it’s an incredibly dramatic rollercoaster that leaves you needing more. You never know if David is actually insane and hearing voices, or whether he does have true untapped power.
Created and directed by Noah Hawley, the show is in safe hands especially after the critically acclaimed Fargo, airing on the same network reaped award after award during the 2016 season. Viewers could watch most of this episode without even realising that there’s a comic book at the heart of the story. One scene in the hospital shows Davids sister coming to visit him and the whole time there’s two characters in the background laughing. Are they there or is this all in Davids mind? This show is genius are leaving you guessing about what is real and what isn’t. One day, a girl called Syd (Rachel Keller), meets David and the two have an instant connection, Keller, along with other notable side characters (Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart) seem to guide David down a path he doesn’t even know he's taking. We’re also on this path and every week we’ll be pushed thrown or telekinetically spun down the road that is Davids life whilst finding out every secret in his head and what the corporation of the mysterious mental hospital want with him (wait until the end of episode one).
Just like Fargo, Legion feels like more than just a dramatic television show. Some fans might be disappointed by its avoidance of the X-Men (so far), but at the same time Legion is very faithful to the character of David/Legion. I will be interested to see if my interest can be sustained week in week out and the intrigue and visceral feel of this pilot episode remains to be seen. All I know is that I will be watching and so should you.